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Anthropologists take note: Hootin’ Holler is a bride-price culture, not a dowry culture

Six Chix and Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/13/16

My main source of info on the aesthetics of diamonds is my wife, who thinks standard diamonds are pretty but not worth the cost and chocolate diamonds are gross. But tastes vary! Still, I’m not really sure what the thrust of the joke in today’s Six Chix is supposed to be. I’m assuming Newly Engaged Lady can’t just be straightforwardly praising her fiance’s choice, as the strip would then lack a “joke” per se. Does she like “chocolate” diamonds because it’s like chocolate the candy and … ladies … be … eating chocolate? Like beloved cartoon character Cathy? Ack? Is this meant to be a commentary on the successful marketing of chocolate diamonds, historically just called brown diamonds and used mostly for industrial purposes, as a newly hip decorative gemstone? Whatever the case, today’s Barney Google and Snuffy Smith cuts through the various layers of meaning encoded the modern tradition of the engagement ring. Our modern, post-industrial society can afford to create abstract signifiers that participate in the ritual of creating a family bond; in impoverished Hootin’ Holler, the residents are closer to the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and they know what a bride wants is agricultural land, and lots of it.

Rex Morgan, M.D., 2/13/16

[stocks of Abbot, Nestle, and other infant formula manufacturers skyrocket as terrified mothers abandon breast-feeding]

Metapost: Enjoy your comments of the week, that is what they there for: your enjoyment

Want a good laugh? Read this week’s top comment. It’s very funny:

“Don’t feel sad, Boog, some day you and the bear will meet again in Heaven [pause, looks at Boog's soulless eyes] …never mind.” –Droopy Says

Oh, man, you know what else is funny, though? The runners up:

“It’s kind of sad that Ol’ Snort’s story is about to end with him and his children getting shot and eaten, but history belongs to the winners.” –BigTed

“To us, the Perfesser is just making a slightly sexist judgement on a woman’s body. To the sentient birds in this strip, however, I think he just used a highly offensive racial slur. For once, the google eyes of horror seem completely justified.” –pugfuggly

“I’ve studdied that Blondie for a good few minutes, and the best explanation I can come up with is that Elmo is actually an undercover agent desperately repeating his codewords in the hopes of finding his handler. ‘Ol’ Stork Baby! Detention is in the gym! Please, someone acknowledge me, I need to get rid of all this classified microfiche!’” –Schroduck

“Poor Elmo, detention is really going to cut into his afterschool play dates with with an adult man to whom he’s not related.” –Chyron HR

Spider-Man: “Sure, Namor, you fucking hypocrite. All ‘Don’t pollute my oceans but don’t mind me while I fuck up your atmosphere with my bourgeois flying jet-submarine. Ta ta! I’ll be back to bone your young women soon.’ Good riddance, asshole.” –Mikey

“Look at that poor, beat-down plugger chicken-lady. You know she’s only got one thing on her to-do list — get a new husband — and yet again the year will go by with that item not crossed off. Watch your back, Funky Winkerbean, because Pluggers is kicking the despair game up the notch.” –Voshkod

“Pretty sure the editor added that cup to Olive’s hand so she wouldn’t be making a jerk-off motion.” –Dan

“In both panels, she’s been hypnotized by the animals to do their bidding. There is no version of this in which the man doesn’t die from scissor wounds.” –rbmalpha

Who’s that standing with [name every character one by one for anyone who hasn't been paying attention for the past sixty years]?” –Chris Rywalt, on Twitter

“To heck with these fancy schmantsy coal-fired or wood-fired oven pizza joints, with their high-falutin’ airs and high prices! Pizza Hovel’s ovens are garbage fired, and they pass the savings on to you!” –Nehemiah Scudder

“Wait, Alex, Blondie, Cookie, Dagwood? Finally, I have a mnemonic to help me remember how the alphabet starts.” –Irrischano

“…from the docks, struggling to keep my eyes open, this is Astound-o the Magician. Back to you, Ron and Deena.” –handsome Harry Backstayge, idol of a million other women

Less self-control? Like … people who hurl cups of steaming hot chocolate at boring old women when they start to spout meaningless platitudes? Would we be better off if more people has less self-control, like that? Let’s see!” –seismic-2

“Mary’s been in New York too long. She’s already blasé about a dude getting mugged by a ghost.” –Doctor Handsome

Thanks to everyone who put some scratch in my tip jar! And let’s give thanks to our advertisers:

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Truly, sacrificing yourself to save a scrapbook is the noblest thing one can do

Crankshaft, 2/12/16

I know I haven’t been keeping you up to date on the antimatter brownie plot in Crankshaft, but the short version is that Crankshaft convinced Lena to bake her brownie batter into a bowling ball for him, one that, due to its extremely scientifically inaccurate properties, repels pins and scores perfect strikes every time. But the new balls she baked for everyone else for the championship game don’t work. Throw away all the goofy magic bullshit and basically Crankshaft has asked Lena (who, for the record, has never been anything but sweet to all her co-workers, who trash-talk her baking constantly) to help him cheat, and now that that hasn’t worked out, he’s literally descending into a spittle-flying temper tantrum, as she looks like she’s about to burst into tears. Fun times!

Gasoline Alley, 2/12/16

“But anyway, you got your scrapbook back, and that’s the important thing! Sorry it smells like the burned hair and seared flesh of your dead bear friend.”

Mary Worth, 2/12/16

“Hello? Lady? I don’t feel so great. I think I might have a concussion. Can you hear me? Why are you just standing there talking and not helping me?”